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October 19, 2018

Varsity students call for absentee West Pokot deputy governor's resignation

West Pokot deputy governor Nicholas Atudonyang makes a presentation during a meeting with US Ambassador Robert Godec in March, 2018. /COURTESY
West Pokot deputy governor Nicholas Atudonyang makes a presentation during a meeting with US Ambassador Robert Godec in March, 2018. /COURTESY

University Students drawn from West Pokot have demanded for the resignation of the county's deputy governor Nicholas Atudonyang citing deteriorated health services.

They addressed the press at the Jeevanjee Gardens, Nairobi on Friday claiming the DG has not been in the country since the August 2017 elections.

The students demanded investigations into the county officer's absence in line with provisions of Constitution's Chapter Six on Leadership and Integrity.

Dennis Ruto (University of Nairobi), Hillary Chesoit (JKUAT), and Allan Rotich from Multimedia University led the team in the push for the probe.

"Once he was inaugurated and assumed office, he left for United states to work there as a medical doctor and has not been serving the people of West Pokot," Ruto said. 

The student leader said the deputy governor was appointed Health executive by Governor John Lonyangapuo and his absence has occasioned poor services in hospitals.

"It is perturbing for us as university students to see that our deputy governor is not serving the people of West Pokot yet he is earning a salary," he said.

Dr Atudonyang is said to be working as a Neurosurgeaon in Allen, Texas with the concerned students saying his heart is with USA and not the county.

They expressed concerns that despite petitioning the Senate to institute a probe, the process was at a snail pace.

Ruto said they presented the petition to the Senate 150 days ago adding that the August House has violated constitutional requirements that such matters be dealt with in 60 days. 

He said they have since been informed that the Senate Committee on Health will be in Eldoret next week to address the petition.

The dissatisfied learners said the core issues in the petition is the deteriorating health care services in the county.

"We demand that Governor Lonyangapuo explains circumstances under which someone who is hundreds of kilometers away is withdrawing salary," Ruto said.

The lot said the county has qualified and competent professionals who can provide services entrusted in Atudonyang's hands.

Lonyangapuo neither responded to calls nor answered text messages seeking comment on the matter raised by the students.

JKUAT's Chesoit said they will no longer take the county government's word that the deputy governor was sent to look for medical partners in the US.

The Independent Pokot Leaders Forum earlier said the deputy governor has been in the county for less than one month ever since he was sworn in.

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